The cicadas’ steady chirping in the trees heralds a changing season. The heat of midday, strongest in July, has now receded a bit and reduced the number of necessary trips to the water well. This is the beginning of the summer wind-down. Make no mistake, there is still plenty of work to do, weeds will still grow even if more slowly, vegetables will still need to be harvested, but the rapid growth and energy necessary for leaf and stalk production is now going towards ripening the fruit.
Fall successions of greens, crops too fragile for the July heat, have been planted and will be enjoyed in September just as they were craved in June. The whole countryside, still green, has nonetheless taken on a different aura. The bottom leaves of stalks have begun to dry down, on grass, on corn, soybeans, and other crops.
Walking through the garden gives a sense of satisfaction – the memory of how much has already been accomplished. It is a daily reminder that our lives are but a part of this pattern. We should be satisfied with our work, even in the midst of it.